Despite many customers claiming they look at an entire digital menu board when deciding what to purchase, most individuals spend a mere 109 seconds looking at the food and drink options in a restaurant. Restaurants have less than two minutes of a customer’s attention before their decision impacts the bottom line — choosing what to order.
Effectively designing a digital menu board is critical for a restaurant’s success because it can help direct customers’ decisions. Specifically, proper menu board designs ensure a customer focuses on certain options and increases the likelihood they will purchase those options. Typically, these options are the most profitable menu items with the lowest food costs.
Thus, the design of a digital menu board must be intentional and visually appealing in order to yield higher profits.
What is a Digital Menu Board?
Digital menu boards display food and drink options in a restaurant on screens, eliminating the need for paper menus and poster promos. With the digital menu board, restaurants can quickly edit and change their menus without incurring the waste and cost associated with re-printing paper ones.
How Do I Design a Digital Menu Board?
Effectively designing a digital menu board can increase a business’s profit. Here are two different ways to do so:
1. Be Simple
Less is always more when designing a digital menu board. Individuals have low patience levels (the average person becomes frustrated after waiting for 25 seconds or longer behind a red light). Most customers want to be able to quickly scan menu boards, and complex designs make it challenging to do so. Therefore, simplicity is key.
When designing menu boards, it is important to use clear and easy–to–read font types. Customers do not want to spend time squinting while trying to decipher the items available for purchase. To signify different category levels in a menu, use larger and smaller font sizes. Additionally, it is important to discard of any unnecessary information. Descriptions of menu items should be concise.
Simple designs ensure customers are at ease when selecting food, which will result in a greater quantity of items being ordered.
2. Categorize Menu Items
Categorizing menu items is a key step in menu engineering, which is a practice that increases a restaurant’s revenue by approximately 10 to 15 percent. Menu items should be categorized based on their profitability and popularity, and menu boards should be “split” into four quadrants for an easily readable format.
Items that are categorized as high in profitability and popularity should be placed in the upper right-hand corner of a menu board. On the other hand, items that are categorized as low in profitability and popularity should be placed in the lower left-hand corner. Designing the placement of menu items in such a way will influence the customer’s attention and increase a business’s bottom line.